Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)


Business Administration


Theresa l M. Neal


Nonprofit leaders face challenges retaining volunteers to support their organizations' human resources. The shortage of volunteers threatens nonprofit sustainability with increasing personnel cost for maintaining quality services. Grounded by Burns's transformational leadership theory, the purpose of this multiple case study was to explore strategies nonprofit leaders from southeastern Michigan used to improve volunteer retention. Data were collected through face-to-face semistructured interviews with 3 nonprofit leaders and a review of organizational documents such as volunteer implementation plans, strategic plans, and volunteer committee notes. Data were analyzed using a methodological triangulation process of sorting comments, which involved a chronological review of the interview transcripts and a descriptive coding for emerging themes. Three distinct themes emerged from the data analysis: collaborative relationships improved volunteer retention, team motivations improved volunteer retention, and strategic communication improved volunteer retention. The findings from this study may contribute to positive social change by providing nonprofit leaders with a better understanding of the need to improve volunteer retention and leadership strategies as methods to continue building viable communities for those in need. Furthermore, the implications for positive social change could include the improvement of other nonprofit organizations and the well-being of the volunteers in the organization.